Katya Colmenares: “It is urgent to think in communal terms”

Lara, April 19, 2023 (Mincomunas Press) – According to the Mexican professor and philosopher Katya Colmenares, Venezuela has the key to the Communal project to produce its own food and its own ideas.

During the opening of the Decolonial School Commune or Nothing in Barquisimeto, Lara state, Colmenares commented that it is necessary for a deep reflection on what is the content of the commune to make it flesh in every daily practice.

” To think of a commune, it is necessary to eat commune. When we eat capitalism, we reproduce capitalism. We have to move towards a different subjectivity. We do not want to be modern subjects; we want to be communitarian. Community is not something we can invent, no! We will find community in the essential part of life. It is not a matter of looking for it outwardly, but of finding it inwardly; for that, we must think about what the human being is as a living being who has needs. It is urgent to think in a communal key. Many times we have modernity inside the communities, and, on a daily basis, we reproduce its logic of domination. Therefore, it is essential to build other references, other ideas, other concepts to understand reality,” she emphasized.

Similarly, the Mexican philosopher explained that to speak of decolonization is to identify how the ideology of modernity has taken root in our lives. “The social relations of modernity are interest-based and are based on the logic of total war. So, we are all at risk because the problem is that, in this individualistic logic of the ego, everyone seeks their own interest, and relationships are constantly brought to the edge of war; it is an ideology of constant war, and that is why others appear to us as enemies, but that is not the only way of exercising power,” he said.

Modernity is a civilizing project that corrupts the human, that corrupts life. “To speak of decolonization is to remove that model of life from our entrails. That is the project of the decolonial turn. We must review how much of modern attitudes we reproduce in the communes. Modern political philosophy starts from the individual, and what is proper for the individual is to seek his own interest and reify the other; it is the logic of war. In the commune, we must learn to treat each other as human beings and to live well in the community,” he said.

He reiterated the Communal conscience has to be capable of advancing to the embrace of the “we”; to think about how would be a policy conceiving the other as sacred.

From Barquisimeto, philosopher Katya Colmenares assured that to decolonize is to change rationality. “Modernity taught us that, on one side, there is nature and, on the other side, there is the human being; we have to change that paradigm. Nature is not in front of us, it is in us: we are nature. We must be conscious of nature to be responsible for the reproduction of life,” she said.

According to Katya Colmenares, “The problem is that we are no longer capable of seeing ourselves as nature, but as individuals; we see ourselves with the eyes of modernity. The human being is self-aware and self-responsible life. What are we responsible for? We are responsible for the whole of life. It is an enormous responsibility, and it is a responsibility that we have not finished assuming. And how are we going to be responsible for life? We have to rebuild a new politics, and here the great masters are our native peoples because they are the voices that were not subsumed in the logic of Cartesian dualism or in the idea of the hierarchy of modernity.”

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